Scio Township Fire is looking to go solar

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The Scio Township Fire Department wants to harness the power of the sun at its station on Zeeb Road.

To begin moving in that direction, the Scio Township Board told township Fire Chief Andy Houde at the Dec. 14 meeting that they would dedicate up to $50,000 from the General Fund savings for the purpose of installing a solar array to provide energy for the Fire Station building.

The next step will see Houde develop bid specifications for approval by the board that would then become a potential contract for the project.

In his report to the board, Houde said “As the Fire Station renovation was undertaken, we took steps to prepare the building for solar power.”

“As the renovations progressed, we reached out to a local contractor as recommended by the PC (planning commission)/Sustainability Task Force Chair (Jan Culbertson) to gather preliminary price information to equip the building with a solar array,” said Houde. “Were quoted a price of $47,600 to install adequate solar capacity to meet 100 percent of the needs of both the fire department and the police department, which is much less than expected. This system would have additional capacity available, so when we begin outfitting our fleet with EV’s, we can expand the system to address the additional load.”

Houde said he would like to move forward with this project even though it is unbudgeted. The contractor he spoke with told him they could have their system installed within a couple of months from awarding a bid.

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